New York

New York State Department of Health

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  New York will begin allowing visitors to see loved ones at nursing homes that have been coronavirus-free for 14 days, down from 28 days under previous rules, the health commissioner said Wednesday.

The policy goes into effect Thursday, Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said. State health officials will monitor to ensure more visits don't increase COVID-19 cases, he said.

"We understand how trying it has been for New Yorkers to not see their loved ones and the challenges they've had to endure during this unprecedented pandemic,'' Zucker said.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  As many as 2 million unemployed New Yorkers will start receiving their share of an extra $300-a-week assistance boost next week from a temporary federal fund that's running out of money.

The state is contacting another 435,000 individuals who are eligible for the boost once they submit additional documentation, according to a state Department of Labor press release Thursday.

State labor officials say eligible New Yorkers will start receiving payments for the weeks ending Aug. 2, 9, and 16.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday that the latest numbers on the coronavirus show that the state has gone 29 straight days with an infection rate remaining below one percent.

He said that overall, the numbers continue to be good news, but he also said that, “We cannot go backwards. As we celebrate this Labor Day Weekend, we must all continue to wear our masks, socially distance, wash our hands and stay New York Tough."

The infection rate for Friday for the Finger Lakes region which includes Monroe County was .6%.

Casinos in New York will be allowed to reopen next Wednesday, Sept. 9, as long as they have a sufficient air filtration system and limit the number of people allowed in the facility at one time, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.

Table games won’t be allowed unless casinos can figure out how to create barriers between players, and masks will be required at all times, he said.

“Casinos can open Sept. 9 on the condition that they have the enhanced air filtration system in place before they open,” Cuomo said.

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that President Donald Trump has been the “worst president in history” from the point of New York City, and that the “best thing he did for New York City was leave.”

And that was followed with a message of dismissal from Cuomo for the president, who transferred his primary residence to Florida last year: “Good riddance.”

File photo

Tuesday was National Poll Worker Recruitment Day, and good government organizations such as Common Cause New York are encouraging young people to sign up to work at voting sites this fall.

Executive Director Susan Lerner noted that poll workers are generally older, and during the pandemic, many may be opting out of being a poll worker out of fear of contracting COVID-19.

``Young people can help our elections and make some extra money by becoming poll workers and relieve the pressure on our older poll workers," Lerner said.

Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York state has closed its first public college to in-person learning after 105 individuals on campus tested positive for the coronavirus, SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said Sunday, and a handful of students have been suspended for contributing to that spread.

Those cases have been traced to a string of parties held off campus by students at SUNY Oneonta, a public college in Otsego County.

"As a result of the increase of tests, and the positive cases of COVID, we are going to be closing the SUNY Oneonta campus for two weeks for instruction,” Malatras said.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and intubations have dropped to new lows. That’s according to figures released by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Saturday who said that hospitalizations dropped to 458, the lowest number since March 16, and intubations dropped to 48, also the lowest number since mid-March.

The state’s infection rate for the coronavirus has been less than 1 percent for 22 straight days. But Cuomo cautioned the pandemic is far from over.

Office of NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The New York State Thruway’s move to all cashless tolls has taken another step forward.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that the final of 70 steel gantries being built as part of this system has been installed. It’s located on the Thruway at Exit 42 in Geneva.

There’s a total of 21 gantries along the main part of the thruway and another 34 at entrance and exit ramps.

The crews are now installing sensors and cameras at those overhead gantries that read EZ-Pass tags and take license plate images; the system is expected to be operational by the end of this year.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Trump administration said Wednesday that it’s requesting data from a handful of states, including New York, to determine if the federal government should open a civil rights investigation into how those states have handled COVID-19 at nursing homes.

The U.S. Department of Justice sent letters to four governors on Wednesday, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, requesting that data.